Pioneer architect Balkrishna Doshi no more

Balkrishna Vithaldas Doshi, a pioneer of modernist architecture and an important contributor to the evolution of architectural discourse in India, passed away in his native Ahmedabad on 24 January this year, aged 95 years.

Having worked under stalwarts Le Corbusier and Louis Kahn, Doshi is credited with the noteworthy designs of the Indian Institutes of Management in Bengaluru and Udaipur, the National Institute of Fashion Technology in New Delhi, CEPT University in Ahmedabad and the Aranya low-cost housing development project in Indore, which fetched him the Aga Khan Award for architecture.

In 2018, he became the first Indian architect to receive the Pritzker Architecture Prize, and the Royal Institute of British Architects’ Gold Medal in 2022.

An alumnus of the Sir J.J. School of Art and Architecture (1950), Doshi was the founding director of the School of Architecture, Ahmedabad (1962–72), founding director of the School of Planning (1972–79), founding dean of the Centre for Environmental Planning and Technology (CEPT), founding member of the Visual Arts Centre, Ahmedabad, and founding director of the Kanoria Centre for Arts, Ahmedabad.

Doshi was instrumental in establishing the internationally-known research institute, Vastu-Shilpa Foundation for Studies and Research in Environmental Design. He was noteworthy for his pioneering work on low-income housing, and for his designs that incorporated concepts of sustainability in innovative ways.

His name figures in the list of Padma Vibhushan awardees for 2023. The government of India had, in 2020 chosen to confer the Padma Bhushan, and in 1976 the Padma Shri on Doshi.



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